MRA urges business operators to register for duty free week

The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has urged business operators including individual citizens in the country to register with the revenue body in order for them to benefit from the duty free week.

Speaking in an interview, MRA Head of Corporate Affairs, Steven Kapoloma has emphasised that only those who have Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) are the ones to benefit from the duty-free importation week, calling on those who do not have to ensure that they have acquired it.

Kapoloma however pointed out that the revenue body has not fixed timeframe for business operators and individuals to register for Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), indicating nevertheless that it would be convenient for them to acquire it before the duty-free importation week rolls out.

“All we are trying to do is to stimulate growth of the Small and Medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) in the country by allowing them import duty freely. We believe this would in turn widen the tax base as we anticipate the SMEs to start paying domestic tax in the medium to long term,” said Kapoloma without disclosing how many new SMEs the revenue body has registered so far.

Kapoloma stated further that the tax registration is also being done electronically through MRA Msonkho online platform and by calling its toll-free line of 672.

Asked how the revenue body is expected to deal with possible congestion challenges at the country’s borders that might arise due huge importations that would be made during the duty free week, Kapoloma assured that the revenue body has made all necessary arrangements for the clearings to be done with its deserving speed.

Meanwhile a cross section of some small business owners interviewed in Limbe township have expressed optimism with the tax holiday arrangement, saying it will help them grow their businesses.

The business operators have however expressed surprise however as to when government is to announce the dates for a duty-free week, one month into the new fiscal year.

Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu in June when he presented the 2020-2021 National budget introduced a duty free week on imports not exceeding US$ 3, 000 dollars an equivalent of K2.5 Million.

The arrangement is expected to be implemented once every year on dates to be gazetted by Parliament.

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